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Brett L

A Happy Birthday to you both.

Miranda Wilding

My sentiments exactly, Brett L.

This is a brilliant evocative piece that captures Ms. Monroe's true essence.

From one glamourous West Coast blonde to another, I am incredibly impressed with your writing. The indelible style, grace and deep perception are all tremendously moving.

This is going up on my site...


There are very few people I admire more than Marilyn Monroe. Outside of being one of my favorite actors, it's the bravery that she demonstrated time and time again in her life that brings me back to her over and over.
From breaking out of a unbelievably tragic background of abuse, abandonment and solitude to her leaving Hollywood for New York in the mid fifties at the risk of losing her Fox contract only to come back totally triumphant in Bus Stop, to those final Bert Stern photographs that showed her at her most daring, defiant and soulful.
I often put in those clips from Somethings Got To Give and just marvel at how she looks...so strong, healthy and I dare say just entering her peak. I am amazed by people who describe her as out of it in these clips...she is positively radiant and almost other-worldly.
More than twenty years after I first discovered her in my early teens, she still destroys me in how much she emotes spiritually as well as physically whether it be in films, photographs or recordings.
Beautiful post for a really special person.


Gee, I wish I could write like this, especially about Monroe. Growing up, I became a huge fan of her, to the extent one of my classmates stated, "You want to BE Marilyn Monroe" (so what, doesn't every 15-year-old gay boy?) after I wore my prized T-shirt with a metallic image of Monroe embossed on the front to school. What drew me to her first was her presence in all those remarkable photographs (add "Great Model" to her list of accomplishments)- she could be even more soulful and sexy on this other type of film than she was on the screen.

VHS was just coming into play as I became aware of Monroe, and therefore I was slowly exposed to her films ("Some Like it Hot" was the first VHS tape I owned, not a bad start) as her titles became available. To be honest, I didn't warm up to her as quickly in her films, as I found her work highly variable, and I still prefer her earlier films (it's great you pinpoint her naturalness via that "Clash by Night" clip- who knew she'd take to Odets so well?). However, whether she was at a high or low point, Monroe remained an unmatched original throughout her career, much to the chagrin of all the Mansfields and Van Dorens that came along and quickly faded from view (the public's fascination with Monroe was just as prevalent during her life- I love watching the "Mystery Guest" segments from "What's My Line?" during the 1950's and 60's, and I lost count how many times the intelligent urbane panel, in eager anticipation that THIS would be the night their fellow New Yorker finally showed up, asked if the mystery guest was either a "beautiful blonde movie star" or Monroe- hell, they asked this almost every time a whistle was heard when the guest came out. Alas, although the likes of Hedy Lamarr and Ava Gardner graced the "Line" set, the elusive Monroe kept to her apartment).

Although her comedic ability is awesome and untouchable, Marilyn's increasing vulnerability and sadness make her a compelling force in her later work, and she could still do the baby doll innocent act with comic aplomb (her work in the often overlooked "The Prince and the Showgirl" offers a fascinating blend of the funny and heartbreaking, and Monroe was never more lovely or convincing on the screen).

I love how you singled out Marilyn's singing for special praise. There's a story that Monroe, normally fragile and stage fright-plagued as a performer, confidently marched into Zanuck's office and burst into song when she was told he planned on dubbing her in "Blondes," to show him she was up to the task- others could imitate HER singing, thank you very much; Monroe wasn’t having it the other way around. She was valued as a singer (publicity for "Hot" played up the fact Monroe would be warbling in the film) but her ability in this area tends to get overlooked in the face of her overwhelming legend. In high school, I once showed a clip of her take on "Diamonds" to prove Monroe was a great talent, and the person I showed it to left the room in the middle of it, unimpressed. I was puzzled by the observer's reaction, as I thought, "Who else could do what Marilyn does in this scene?" I guess Monroe made it look too easy.

Ryan Kelly

This post is just. So. Wonderful. And touching, and sweet. Great job, truly

Respect for the institution of the movie star is something that is sorely lacking for the most part these days, and it's good to see the spirit alive and well at Sunset Gun!

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